Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cooking Thursday

I'm sure you all know that I like to make meals in bulk and freeze them, so I have something ready to go when I work late.  Today's is another favorite! It's spaghetti sauce from the Pioneer Woman and it truly is the most tasty sauce ever!  You can serve it over any kind of pasta, this time I used ziti.  And if you have a box of pasta in the house, and this in the freezer, supper can be ready in a jiffy!

Pioneer Woman Spaghetti Sauce

5 pounds Ground Beef 
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced 
2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced 
6 cloves Garlic, Minced 
1 cup Beef Broth  
2 cans 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes 
1 can (14 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes 
1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste 
1 jar good store bought Marinara Sauce (can use another jar if you like the sauce to
      be more saucy than meaty  
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano 
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme 
4 whole Bay Leaves 
2 Tablespoons Sugar 
2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional) 
3 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes, more to taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.
Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute. Pour in the  broth and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid. After an hour, add the minced parsley and the grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve over pasta of your choice, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
* This made enough for me to use one portion and freeze three more.  Each portion was enough for me to use for one pasta supper, with leftovers for lunch, and also the meal I'll share next week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Monday, June 25, 2018


I told you that the girls and I had fun making something on Saturday.  We made slime!  It was fun and really was quite easy.

 We started by putting 1/2 cup glue in a bowl.  I found purple glue with glitter in it!

 Then we added 1/2 cup water and some food coloring.  Ruby chose to add purple food coloring to make hers darker, and Alaina chose pink.

In a separate bowl, we mixed 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon Borax, then stirred it into the glue mix.
It quickly turns into slime.  There is some water that separates out from the slime that you can get rid of, and the slime that remains just needs to be mixed well.

Here's the finished product!
Ruby with her purple slime...

And Alaina with her pink slime!

We put each one in an airtight container and they were excited to take it home with them.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Girlie Weekend

Our girls came and spent the night Friday night.  As usual, we had lots of fun with them!

We picked them up after supper and told them we had to stop somewhere on the way home.  They thought it was the grocery store and we let them think that.  They were thrilled when we pulled in to the park!  It was a cool evening and there was no one else there.

There are so many fun things to do at the park!

After we left the park we stopped for ice cream.  The girls chose cotton candy flavor and pronounced it good.

We went home and played a little, then watched a show.  Soon it was bedtime.

They must have been tired because they slept till about 8:15!  We had breakfast and spent a little time playing and coloring.

We each drew a cow.  Alaina drew a much better cow at 6 years old than I did!

We also had fun making something else that I'll show you tomorrow.

It was now after 12 and time to start heading home.  We had lunch at Burger King and stopped at  friends house.  Then we stopped at my Dad's house.

They love sitting on the swing with him.

I don't know what they were looking at but they looked cute peeking in the window.
We said good bye to great grandpa and great grandma and drove to their house.

Laura is on a short trip with a friend to visit the Pioneer Woman's lodge and mercantile, but they were happy to see Aaron when we got to their house.  He's been doing special things with them while she is gone. and they were looking forward to more fun with him!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cooking Thursday

When our kids came over to celebrate Bob's birthday and Fathers Day, one of the things I made for our supper was a pasta salad that's a favorite in our house.  It's a recipe Bob's mom used to make, and I've been making it since we were married.  We especially like it when it's hot out.  It makes a nice light supper with a sandwich.

Moms Pasta Salad

1 cup uncooked pasta - shell, elbow, bowtie...
2 hard boiled eggs
7 ounces tuna, drained (or cubed ham)
1 can peas
2 sweet gherkin pickles, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package.  Place in colander and rinse with cold water.
Toss together tuna, peas and pickles.  Cut eggs fine and stir in.  Add pasta and mayonnaise.
Stir all together and then stir in cheese.
Refrigerate overnight.  Stir before serving.  If it appears too dry, add mayonnaise to taste.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day

Hope you all had a nice weekend and Father's Day.  I had to work during the day on Sunday, but our girls and their families came over for supper at night.  We celebrated Father's Day and Bob's birthday.

 Enjoying supper together!

 Ruby, "sitting" between Aaron and Laura.

Grandpa and his girlies.

 The girls showing us how they dance to "Little Bunny Foo Foo"!

 Alaina thought she would try out Aunt Heather's hat.

Ruby's hair was wild, so Andrew tied it up with a ribbon from a gift.
Take note of his facial hair.  He has it trimmed that way because next week he is playing the part of a villain at their church's VBS.  He's always up to do something crazy!

This is a gift from Heather and Andrew.  She found this case that he can hang his Dad's old pocket watch in.  There is a picture of his Dad behind it.  Pretty cool!  Laura and Aaron gave him money, with the added benefit of going out and wandering around garden centers, looking for flowers to spend that money on, then supper out.  Bob will love that too.  He and Laura share a love of gardening, plus he gets to spend time with her!
It was a nice day!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Scurry's of squirrels and warrens of rabbits!

This is our backyard.  It looks quite peaceful and empty, right?

If you look closer, you'll see a few visitors!

Our yard has been especially busy with squirrels lately.  We have a maple tree that's been dropping all sorts of seed pods and the squirrels are loving it!  The other day I came home and Bob said there was a "flock" of squirrels out there!  We knew that wasn't really the right term, so I looked it up and it's actually a scurry.  Don't you love that?  It describes them well.  They scurry all over the yard, up and down the trees and across the branches.  We had brown squirrels, smaller black squirrels and very small red squirrels.  They're fun to watch.

We also have some rabbits.  They aren't as fun to watch, because they don't move a lot.  They like to say around and bask in the sunshine.  Right now they are just eating grass and clover, but sometimes they nibble flowers which makes Bob slightly cranky!

There are several of them, but one of them loves to sit in this little patch of clover.
In other trivia - tame groups of rabbits are called herds, but wild rabbit groups are warrens.  Not near as fun as scurry's!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cooking Thursday

Here's a great summer recipe!  It's cold and creamy, and includes peanut butter and chocolate!  It's always a hit!

Peanut Butter Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick melted margarine
Mix together and press into a 9x13 pan.

8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
16 ounces Cool Whip
Beat cream cheese, then add powdered sugar. Add peanut better and mix well. Stir milk in slowly, than fold in Cool Whip.
Pour over crust and freeze.
Top with hot fudge sauce just before serving.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Bob!

It was Bob's birthday on Saturday, and it wasn't just any old birthday.  He turned 60! I wanted to plan something special for him so I started planning some time ago.
First I talked to his boss, and arranged for him to have a vacation day on Friday.  His boss went along with this, left his name on the schedule and told everyone not to say a word.
So - Friday morning when he got up to go to work, I told him he could go back to bed, because he had the day off and we were going to do something fun!  He went back to bed, but of course not back to sleep and we were soon up for the day.  I had him pack a bag and we were off.
After driving for about 3 hours, we saw this old cemetery on a side road and decided to make a little stop.

 It was very old.  The big stone here was from 1891.  There were graves of civil war soldiers and many others that weren't readable.

The brown stone was the newest one we saw and it was from 1982.  The sad thing was the condition of most of the stone.  Most were tipped over.  The grass was mowed, but it appears no one takes care of the headstones.

After 2 more hours, we arrived at our destination - Dayton Ohio.
I had reserved a room at a Holiday Inn Express there and it was supposed to be a suite - 2 queen rooms and a sitting room. We usually just get the standard room, but because of another surprise I had planned, I got this bigger room. Well, this room was probably the nicest room we ever stayed in.  Not only did it have 2 queen beds, and a sitting area, it also had a kitchen with a full refrigerator, a dishwasher, a table, dishes, 2 tvs, 1 1/2 bathrooms and a washer and dryer!  We didn't really use any of that, but it sure was nice!

Around 5pm there was a knock on the door and the other surprise arrived.

 It was Andy!  He drove up from Kentucky to spend the weekend with us.

After Andy arrived we went out to get supper.  We went to a Chick-fil-A, which was a first for us.  We don't have any very near to us and always wanted to try one.  The food was good, but as we were eating it started to rain.  We found there was a severe thunderstorm warning, and reports of hail and high wind.  When the rain slowed, we made a dash for the car and headed for the hotel.

The next morning, I had a little prank gift for Bobs birthday, that could also be shared with Andy.
A while back, Bob had his DNA analyzed and one of the things it said, was that he had Viking ancestry.  Well, I saw these crazy beard and Viking hats and had to order them.  So, here are Bob and Andy in their full Viking glory!  :)

That morning we left the hotel a little after 9 and went to the Air Force Museum.  Bob and Andy both share a love of aircraft of any type.  Andy spent 8 years in the army working on the Apache helicopter and still works on a base, as a civilian working on them.
I figured it was going to be a long day for me, tailing behind those two as they ooohed and ahhed over these aircraft!

I took over 300 photos here, so I had a hard time finding just a few photos to share.  :)  I picked out just a few of the things that stuck out to me.

 Have you heard of the Red Baron from WWII?  This is a replica of it.  The original crashed with the Red Baron in it.

 There was an exhibit on concentration camps that was very interesting and so sad.  This is an actual uniform from one of the camps.

This is the actual Memphis Belle - a B17 bomber that inspired 2 movies.  It was restored and only unveiled here 3 weeks ago.

 This is the Bockscar - the actual plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.

 This is Apollo 15 - the fourth mission to land on the moon.

And this is Air Force One.  This plane carried Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush and Clinton. We were able to tour it.  We also got to tour the planes of President Roosevelt and Truman.
We arrived at the Museum at 9:45 and left around 4, so it was a long day, but very interesting!

We went back to the hotel, where it started raining again, along with hail and another severe thunderstorm warning! After it settled down, we went to the Olive Garden for a birthday supper.
Sunday morning, we had to say good bye to Andy and head back home.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Welcome home...

We had an exciting day last Sunday.  Our church has been without a building for several years. 6 years ago we left our denomination after fighting changes at the top level, things that we felt were not true to the Bible. In leaving, we lost our church building and we have been meeting in a few church gyms.  A few years ago we built the first part of a new building - offices and classrooms.  This past fall, we started the building of a sanctuary.  We also started meeting in our building - separated in different classrooms with the message being streamed to each classroom.
Last week we were able to meet for the first time in our new sanctuary, and be all together for the first time in months!  

 Here you can see the classrooms and offices on the right, and the new building on the left.  The outside needs to be finished yet.

Here's a few greeters, welcoming people in.

The narthex - full of people who were excited for this special day.

The new sanctuary, before most people had arrived.

The stage, before the service started.

Our new kitchen,with the head of our kitchen team.   Do you see all the crockpots? We had a potluck dinner after church.

The sanctuary again - all set up for a potluck dinner.
It was a joy filled day!  It was 6 years to the day that we left our old building.  God was faithful to us, provided us a place to worship each week and bringing us new people who also wanted to be true to the word.  We are amazed by how things went during this time and that this building was able to be done, so much quicker than we anticipated.  This building had a cost of over 3 million dollars, but one million dollars was provided by in kind labor.  There were also cash donations that were far above what would be expected from a congregation of our size.  This whole period of time has been such an evidence of God's faithfulness to us.  One of the songs we sang on Sunday was 'Great is they Faithfulness' and it was perfect for the day.  We are thankful to be "home".